Fast Scans | January 2014

theattack013114The Attack. color. 95+ min. In Arabic & Hebrew w/English subtitles. Cohen Media Group. 2012. DVD UPC 741952757597. $24.98; Blu-ray ISBN 741952757696. $34.98. Rated: R.

Confronted with proof that his wife (Reymonde Amsellem) was the suicide bomber responsible for the emergency room casualties he has been trying to save, a respected Arab-born surgeon (Ali Suliman) practicing in Tel Aviv at first denies her involvement. After a posthumous letter confirms it, the shell-shocked doctor desperately travels to Palestine in search of answers to his outwardly apolitical spouse’s radicalization. In his feature-film debut, Ziad Doueiri deftly dramatizes evolving realization in this character-driven film.

The Big City. 135+ min. 1963. DVD UPC 715515109413. $29.95; Blu-ray UPC 715515109314. $39.95.

Charulata. 118+ min. 1964. DVD UPC 715515109215. 29.95; Blu-ray ISBN UPC 715515109116. $39.95.

ea. vol: b/w. In Bengali w/English subtitles. Criterion Collection.

The work of celebrated Indian filmmaker Satyajit Ray (1921–92), whose The Music Room (LJ 12/11) has already gotten the Criterion treatment, benefits from two newly restored releases. In The Big City, a homemaker upsets her traditional family by taking a sales job to help make ends meet, while Charulata finds a lonely wife drawn to her husband’s cousin, a kindred spirit who writes poetry. Talented Madhabi Mukherjee beautifully inhabits both leads in these compassionate tales of women inhibited by social mores.

Broken. color. 90+ min. Film Movement. 2012. DVD UPC 616892185963. $24.99.

broken013114An 11-year-old tomboy named Skunk (first-timer Eloise Lawrence, a real find) is at the center of this at-times harrowing coming-of-age story from Rufus Norris (London Road), who puts his precocious protagonist in the midst of troubled neighbors—including a violent widower and a mentally unstable young man—with a devoted dad (Tim Roth) as her bedrock and eventual lifesaver. Film Movement kicks off the second decade of its film-of-the-month club devoted to foreign and indie picks with one of its finest.

The Hunt. color. 115+ min. In Danish w/English subtitles. Magnolia Home Entertainment. 2013. DVD UPC 876964006248. $26.98; Blu-ray UPC 876964006255. $29.98. Rated: R.

A false charge of sexual impropriety from a young child turns the life of a kindhearted day-care worker (Mads Mikkelsen) upside down. Fresh from a divorce and trying to win custody of his teenage son, as well as start a new romantic relationship, the 40-year-old accused ends up fired and a pariah in his tight-knit Danish community. Sensitively delving into divisive dramatic material, Thomas Vinterberg (The Celebration) elicits a sympathetic lead performance to show a man’s desperate struggle to recover his lost respect.

passion013114Passion. color. 102+ min. Entertainment One. 2013. DVD UPC 741952741299. $24.98; Blu-ray UPC 741952741398. $29.98. Rated: R.

Decades removed from his heyday as an A-list Hollywood director, Brian De Palma (Dressed To Kill; The Untouchables) summons enough of his signature stylistic cues—gliding camera, split screens, and twisty plot—to refashion Crime d’ Amour (2010) into an improvement over the original. Rachel McAdams is all smiley-face insincerity as a scheming ad exec who drives her creative but diffident underling (Noomi Rapace) over the edge. Passion is a beyond-the-pale guilty pleasure for devoted De Palma fans.

This article was published in Library Journal's January 1, 2014 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

Annalisa Pesek About Annalisa Pesek

Annalisa Pesek ( is Assistant Managing Editor, LJ Book Review
[photograph by John Sarsgard]